President’s Giuseppe Benedetto Settlement speech, 3rd February 2016

President’s Giuseppe Benedetto Settlement speech, 3rd February 2016

This speech pretend to give a response and formulate proposals using a liberal approach in relation to the complex and articulated issues with which the globalized society challenges today citizens and States.

The State, in a liberal vision of society, is not and cannot be the problem. The state that regulates conflicts and overcomes imbalances is the liberal State. It ceases to be so when it becomes intrusive and omnipresent, when it transforms and evolves into an oppressor as a tax collector.

In this liberal state there can be no equilibrium position between the so-called minimum state (which is non-existent in nature) and the Moloch state of the thousand municipalities. Nowadays, the Italian State needs a significant, immense, cut back and reorganization of weights and superstructures, a legacy of the most miserable and vulgar statism. At the same time, it needs to declare a war. We, pacifists in nature and due to cultural inclinations, intend to declare war on what appears to be the invincible army of the Italian bureaucracy (in its various, engulfing, versions and declinations). Also in this case, we will face it with the weapons of reason and political culture.

In a liberal state there cannot be a single and extreme response to complex problems such as, for example, migration. Among the bulldozers and the group of Ohio students (those who dispute the food of the canteen because it is not politically correct, in the sense that it is not cooked according to the dictates of the single ethnic group), there cannot be an answer that makes use of a matter that appears to be running out: reason. We liberals, for whom immigration and the relative integration can represent values ​​and wealth for a society, share what Galli della Loggia wrote a few days ago. He observed that integration conform integration in a specific culture and the term multiculturalism is practiced on Neverland. Here, we agree with him. As you can see, there is a reasonable and non-ideological position even for such a complex problem.

We want to mediate together with Justice, in particular with the criminal one. In this country, it can and must be said that as long as the accusatory rite of the current criminal trial does not find its logical, ineluctable, fulfillment, with the separation of careers between those who judge and those who must support the accusation on behalf of the State, the citizen is not an individual with all his sacred rights protected. We cannot pretend that the emergency is civil justice and that if we do not solve civil justice in first place in Italy, no investors will come. This is certainly true. But it is even more true (refer to Silvio Scaglia and others who have followed his ordeal) to state that the priority problem is that of a prolonged short-circuit criminal justice. And if this is supported by the liberals, the “Einaudiani”, the “Malagodiani” and the “Spadoliniani”, it is difficult to affirm that the rationale behind it is to defend a character of the political scene.

And again, regarding to the environment and that department whose bears the signature of Valerio Zanone, allow us to argue that perhaps between environmental protection, sustainable development and research on GMOs to improve the quality of life, it cannot and must not be contradiction. There is a balance between the extremes that belongs to us. It is here where reason must fight ideology and sometimes, idiocy. Does it make sense to support a struggle with no mercy against GMOs regarding to what we have been eating for decades, without asking ourselves large and unresolved questions such as real hunger that exist in the world? And what about the research that must continue with respect to the humankind, in every sense?

Still, mentioning civil rights is to talk about liberalism, liberal achievements. For us liberals, it is not possible to infringe the inviolable rights of the individual, for a “superior” good of religion, society or State. Consciences are inviolable, so it is the human body. The great liberal democracies were born and developed based on these grounds. And there are many clouds on the horizon to not be concerned about the subject and organize ourselves to represent a fort of civilization and freedom.

Whether any of you, at this point of the argument, still think “but these people are always standing for compromise”, we respond referring to Amos Oz and his book “Contro il fanatismo”. The opposite of compromise is not integrity, not even idealism or even determination or devotion. The opposite of compromise is fanaticism, death.

And notwithstanding, it can be stated that it is not the compromise at all cost what we pursue, but applying the reason, even leaving feelings apart if necessary.

Mario Calabresi writes in his debut article as editor of “Repubblica”, “The poisoned fruit of an era of divisions, cynicism and impatience, is having lost the taste for nuances, having lost the curiosity to discover similarities as well as differences.

A widespread Manichaeism has taken over our world which seems fatally attracted by the idea that there is only “black or white “.

We would like to tell Calabresi that in his beautiful piece speaks and writes about that “culture of doubt”, typical of the liberal-democratic laity.

On these days of cultural fights regarding the diversity of families, I have read many articles coming from the greatest journalists that rightly complain about the absence of the laity, as an organized political power, in our Country after the disappearing of the glorious secular Parties of the “First Republic” (P.L.I. and P.R.I. primarily). I agree and share what a courageous fighter of the left liberal culture, Salvatore Valitutti, said to the young folks of P.L.I.: “Please note that laity is not the contrary of Christian (and I add, it is enough to have read Croce to know it!), and Catholic neither. Laity is the contrary of dogmatic”.

Here we are the secular individuals. The Einaudi Foundation, which is inspired by the highest intellectuals of that culture, represents the highest synthesis of that thought in Italy.

We can afford it, because we are the Einaudi Foundation and our goal is not the search for consensus, but the search tout court. The study, research, training of young people. Representing the position of the liberals of today on the great themes of contemporary society, remembering the liberals of yesterday.

We will get it done! We will purposeful go on the Social Networks, we will organize the liberals, we will fulfill our duties, which constitute a pleasure for us.

We will continue the Work of Luigi Einaudi, Benedetto Croce, Giovanni Malagodi, who have strongly fought to build this glorious Foundation.


Giuseppe Benedetto